U.S. Concerned about Reports of Iranian Crackdown on Ethnic Kurds

Appeals to Iran to show restraint, respect Kurds' democratic rights

Following is the text of a question concerning reports of an Iranian crackdown on ethnic Kurds taken at the State Department's August 8 briefing and the written answer provided later in the day:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATEOffice of the Spokesman
August 8, 2005

Question Taken at the August 8, 2005 Daily Press Briefing


Question: What is our reaction to Iranian government crackdown on ethnic minority Kurds in northern party of country?

Answer: The United States is concerned by reports of an Iranian government crackdown on ethnic Kurds in northern Iran, and in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan. These reports indicate that several people have been killed and that many more, perhaps hundreds, may have been arrested.

Denial of the rights of minority groups is one aspect of the regime's appalling human rights and democracy record that has been well documented by non-governmental organizations and in our annual Country Report on Human Rights. We call on the Iranian authorities to exercise restraint and to respect the peaceful exercise by the Iranian people of their democratic rights.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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